Pedestrian Accident Statistics Show Disturbing Trends
Florida’s beautiful weather leads to people out and about at almost all points of the year. However, this does mean that the likelihood of accidents is higher than it might be in other states, simply because there are more people on the roads. Many Florida metro areas, Tampa included, are markedly dangerous for pedestrians, with certain groups being overrepresented. If you are a frequent pedestrian, it is a good idea to understand the potential risks and how to safeguard yourself if need be.
Statistics from Smart Growth America, an urban planning group, show that U.S. streets are getting more dangerous for pedestrians. Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian deaths rose approximately 35 percent, though people are driving only slightly more than they were at the start of the decade – only around 8 percent. People are walking roughly the same amount, as walking trips rose by less than 1 percent. It begs the question of why so many more accidents are occurring, and only recently have many of the answers begun to be researched.
In Florida in particular, an average of 649 pedestrian fatalities per year have occurred in the last five years (on average, around one-quarter of all the traffic fatalities in the state), which is the highest average in the nation. The Smart Growth America study also gave Florida the highest Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which is a combination of factors like how many people walk to work, overall population size, and the number of registered vehicles. Florida’s metro areas made up 7 of 10 on the report’s list of most dangerous urban areas – Tampa ranked at No. 9, down from No. 7 the previous year.
Who Is It More Dangerous For?
Pedestrian accidents are happening more across the board, but it is worth noting that certain factors make one more likely to be involved in an accident. Most importantly, being low-income, being over the age of 50, and being a person of color appear to be correlated with higher incidences of pedestrian fatality. Men also seem to be more likely to be struck, especially if they are also low income, because in many low-income families the male is more likely to be out alone at night (when most pedestrian accidents occur).
The elderly are perhaps the most at risk, at least statistically. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that almost 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities were over the age of 65 in 2015, and the same age group represented 13 percent of all injuries in that year. This is higher than any age group besides children under 15, which posted roughly the same fatality rates. If you are elderly, or fall into any of the other groups at higher risk, it is imperative to be aware of your surroundings at all times, as well as trying to avoid being out after dark if at all possible, since as many as three-fourths of pedestrian deaths occur during the night.
Can A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help You?
While it is important to take as many precautions as possible against becoming an accident victim, sometimes life will simply happen, and if it does, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can be an enormous help going through the process of seeking compensation. The Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group can work with you and guide you to what will hopefully be the best outcome possible for you and yours. Call us today for a free consultation.